Are you itching to get out on the road and feel the freedom of riding your bike? If you really miss your motorcycle, why not organize a long-distance trip that will satisfy your need for speed, adventure, and fun? If you never went on a long ride or if you totally forgot how it is to take one, here are a few tips to keep in mind that will ensure you stay safe, comfortable, and healthy.
Take a few trial trips
Sure, you’re not training for a marathon, but your long-distance ride will still be very exhausting and you do require some practice. Brush up on the basics and take time to ride as far as you can go every day. Your goal should be to stay in the seat for 10 hours with short breaks and good mileage. You can also add some cardio to your exercise routine and focus on building muscle endurance to reduce your muscle fatigue. This might sound exhausting, but once you start your trip, you will love the effort you put in.
Choose your route wisely
All riders who choose to visit remote regions need to create a detailed and easy-to-read map. If you need help, contact local authorities and ask for help when it comes to planning your route. Make sure to note down all towns, roadhouses and various landmarks to help you with the route and distance you can expect to cover. Take your time to study your route so you don’t take any wrong turns (even if you have GPS) and put yourself in danger. Traveling in remote areas can put you in unfamiliar situations and hostile environments and that’s not fun.
Take a look at your motorcycle
Your bike needs to be in top shape before you embark so book an appointment with a professional mechanic. Make sure to inspect fluids and filters, check tire pressure and quality, ensure valves are calibrated, and try out all signals, gauges, and lights. You can also equip your bike with some additional storage by investing in practical motorcycle pannier racks that will come in handy for soft bags and Rotopax. When you need bags for clothing and camping gear, you’ll be glad you made the investment.
Aim for comfort
You might think this is counterintuitive, but hard saddles are more comfortable than soft ones, especially for long rides. Seats that allow you to sink in will provide you with only one way to sit, while harder seats allow the rider to move around and shift the position. So if you’re not satisfied with your seat during your test rides, don’t hesitate to invest in something that provides you with more freedom of movement.
Gear up like a pro
Safety and comfort will obviously be high on your list of priorities, so it’s a good idea to freshen up your riding garb for long rides. If you want to buy new gear, aim for motorcycle jeans with Kevlar, a rain suit, and leather gloves—these pieces offer the best safety and comfort. Don’t ride without your protective gear since it offers many layers of protection (from falls, cold, rain, sun’s rays…) If you’re hitting any Alpine regions even in super warm countries like Australia, don’t forget to pack your warm under-clothes because the air can still be pretty cold.
Specialized riding clothing will offer the best protection and comfort even if you ride for 10 hours a day. Of course, an approved motorcycle helmet is a must, but make sure your old one can be attached properly and is free of cracks and any damage that can endanger your safety or impair your vision.
Protect your ears
Riding is loud, but it’s not your bike’s fault. The biggest problem for your ears is the sound of the wind. The level of the sound is influenced by your helmet, riding speed, the position of your head and weather conditions outside. Check your local motorcycle shop and buy a couple of Alpine earplugs. These come with filters which isolate only damaging tones, so you can still hear your engine and the traffic around you.
Preparing well doesn’t make you a nerd—it makes you a smart and responsible motorcyclist. These tips will help you prepare for your long-distance trip and ensure you stay safe, comfortable, and alert while still enjoying the freedom of the ride.